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Shanghai plans to increase residential gas prices

SHANGHAI today announced plans to increase gas prices for residential use, and a public hearing will be held this month to solicit opinions.

It will be the first increase since 2008, according to the Shanghai Development and Reform Commission. Gas rates were hiked for commercial and industrial users in 2010.

Other cities and regions across the country are also adjusting prices after the National Development and Reform Commission released a statement in March demanding a nationwide change in the gas pricing mechanism.

Under the plan, Shanghai will introduce progressive tariffs for natural gas users. The system will include three tiers. The proposed first tier will cover 80 percent of local household use (with annual consumption of less than 290 cubic meters of gas and the second tier covering 95 percent (with annual consumption between 290 and 500 cubic meters).

Under the proposal, prices will vary among different types of consumers with bigger users paying more.

For first-tier households, they will see a cost increase of 0.52 yuan (8 US cents) per cubic meter of gas with a price of 3.02 yuan, up 20.8 percent.

It means they will likely pay an additional 12.5 yuan at the most per month to cover the rising prices.


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